Riding Giants Reviews

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Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
September 19, 2004
Nothing too deep and meaningful, just a thoroughly entertaining trip through the past 50 years of surfing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
September 17, 2004
Well-made, but those who aren't ready to zen out in Surf City can find documentaries that are just as worthwhile on The History Channel or Animal Planet.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
September 9, 2004
Instead of weighing the film down with spaced-out surfer-dude quotes, director Stacy Peralta traces the sport's origins back to the ancient Hawaiians.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Eric D. Snider
EricDSnider.com
September 2, 2004
An enthralling, entertaining, jaw-dropping look at the history of surfing.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
August 27, 2004
If your pulse isn't pounding, maybe you need to check to see if you have one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Sean Means
Salt Lake Tribune
August 27, 2004
A breezy and always watchable portrait not only of a sport in ascendance but a way of being.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
August 25, 2004
A splashy documentary on the endless summer of American surfing.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 20, 2004
Before seeing Riding Giants, my ideas about surfing were formed by the Gidget movies, Endless Summer, the Beach Boys, Elvis and lots of TV commercials. ... Riding Giants is about altogether another reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
August 19, 2004
Peralta has a knack for taking a niche sport and drawing out its universal appeal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
August 15, 2004
From the film's opening seconds, in which a lone surfer emerges from a wave's whitewater to the strains of first organ, then choir music, we can see that the filmmaker has come to sanctify his subject rather than explore it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
August 13, 2004
In some ways, Riding Giants overlaps Step Into Liquid. The two complement each other.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 13, 2004
There's no denying that much of this is spectacular.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit
August 11, 2004
A joy to watch, and a cheap way to escape to the beach this summer
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Gabriel Cohen DeVries
Film Journal International
August 8, 2004
Exhilarating chronicle of big-wave surfing and its pioneers.
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
August 6, 2004
The interviews really aren't all that interesting, and the film clips are usually washed out and not especially impressive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 6, 2004
The film's utterly deadpan approach sets it apart from such previous surf movies as The Endless Summer and Step Into Liquid, which were as much adventure travelogues as anything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 6, 2004
Peralta has done a marvelous job at showing the intimidating waves and the guts it must take men (and occasionally women) to ride them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
August 6, 2004
A feat of photography.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 6, 2004
A loving, entertaining tutorial.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 6, 2004
By the end, you're numb from the waves of information crashing down on your head but you're also worn out and happy, unexpectedly touched by the story of men who climbed the highest mountain around.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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